Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Tostadas, or chalupas, are one of my favorite items to order at Mexican food restaurants. They are the nacho's sexier, more sophisticated older sister and come in a variety of iterations both fancy and humble. The classic Tex-Mex version that I usually see on menus is the Chalupa (aka Tostada) Compuesta- I'm not sure what that translates to exactly in English, but I think it might mean "topped with a lot of yummy stuff." It's usually a fried tortilla schmeared with greasy refried beans, gobs of cheese, a huge helping of rich beef or chicken, shredded iceberg lettuce, guacamole, tomatoes and sour cream. Delicious? You bet! Nutritious? Maybe not so much. When I'm cooking restaurant style dishes at home, I'm always looking for ways to add health points without subtracting any flavor. These tostadas check both of those boxes! I start by roasting a big ol' sheet pan loaded with cumin spiced veggies- sweet potatoes, peppers, zucchini and corn. Play with whatever you have on hand! Mushrooms, red onion, other types of squash and even broccoli could be tasty. You can totally use store-bought tostada shells, but homemade ones are so easy to make and SO much better! I use either corn tortillas or Siete brand almond flour tortillas and fry them lightly in avocado oil. Cut some corners by using canned refried beans and jarred salsa, but I always prep fresh guacamole- it makes a big difference. I like to top these with crunchy shredded romaine and/or red cabbage, diced tomatoes and pickled jalapeños too! These crispy, creamy and colorful tostadas compuestas are beloved by everyone in my family- I know they'll be a hit at your house as well! Vamos a comer, amigos!
prep time: ~20 min. cook time: ~45 min. (includes roasting vegetables) serves: ~4
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and 1" diced
1 large zucchini squash, cubed into 1" pieces
1 cup fresh corn kernels, cut from 1 large ear
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
avocado or vegetable oil
6-8 prepared tostada shells (*or make your own using corn tortillas)
1 can refried black or pinto beans (or about 2 cups homemade)
1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
shredded romaine and/or red cabbage, diced tomatoes, guacamole, salsa and pickled jalapeño slices
Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the diced sweet potato, bell pepper, and zucchini together on a large rimmed sheet pan with the garlic, cumin, oregano, 1-1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 3 tbsp oil (line pan with foil for easy clean-up). Bake 30-40 minutes, tossing corn into the mixture in last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove the vegetables from the oven and transfer to a bowl, leaving the oven on and lining the sheet pan with a fresh sheet of foil.
To assemble, place the tostada shells on the baking sheet. spread ~2 tbsp of the beans on each one, top with ~1/4 cup of the roasted veggies and sprinkle the cheese over the tops. Pop the tostadas back into the oven for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the veggies and beans are warmed through. To serve, top with guacamole, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, jalapeños, and your favorite salsa (or as desired).
To make your own tostada shells: heat 1/2” of avocado or vegetable oil in a cast iron skillet. When oil is hot, carefully add tortillas and fry on both sides until brown and crisp, about 1 minute per side. Transfer the cooked shells to a paper towel lined platter or cutting board to drain, sprinkling them with flaky salt while still hot.